Anonymous oocyte donation and participation in organ and blood/tissue donation programmes were studied specifically among Irish fertility patients.
An anonymous questionnaire measured patient perceptions of, and participation in, blood/organ/tissue donor programmes, and to record opinion on anonymous donor oocyte compensation.
A total of 337 patents were sampled; 56.7% had no children. None had participated in a donor oocyte programme either as donor or recipient. At baseline, 19.6% had previous in vitro fertilisation experience, more than one-third (35.9%) had donated blood anonymously, 19.9% were organ/tissue donors and 52.2% indicated that anonymous oocyte donors should receive some compensation. We found patients with infertility for extended periods were more likely to view oocyte donation favourably, compared to those with infertility of shorter durations (p = 0.022, by Krusksal-Wallis Rank Sum test). Average recommended compensation for anonymous oocyte donor was euro 2177 (range euro 200-euro 9500), and most (77.2%) favoured confidential protections for recipient and donor identity.
This is the first investigation of blood and organ/tissue donation features among fertility patients in Ireland; the rate of blood donation in this group was more than 10 times higher than in the general Irish population. Protection of anonymity for both donors and recipients was supported by most patients, even opponents of compensated anonymous donation. Further studies should clarify patient perceptions about oocyte donation as a function of involvement in organ/tissue procurement programmes and blood banks.